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Echinacea Goldenseal and Pregnancy Issues Explained

In discussing echinacea, goldenseal and pregnancy, I will look at the two herbs separately.

Fisrtly, on echinacea and pregnancy. Generally, this herb is considered quite safe, howver there has been only one study done it during pregnancy that I know of.

This study, which can be accessed from the link above, looked at whether there was any impact on major or minor birth defects, pregnancy outcome, delivery method, maternal weight gain, gestational age, infant birth weight or fetal distress from taking echinacea during pregnancy.

One group of women took echinacea during pregnancy, and the control group did not. The dosage the echinace group took was from 250 to 1000 mg per day, and all took it after consulting with a qualified health professional, whether that was a doctor, midwife or registered herbalist/complementary health practitioner.


The study found that there was no significant difference between either groups in the above outcomes. The only difference statistically was that there were 13 spontaneous abortions in the echinacea group compared to 7 in the control group.

The study did not address what factors mught explain this - whether these women had a history of spontaneous abortion in pregnancy, or any other factors that may have led to this higher number. Or in fact, if it was related to the echinacea use. At this stage, and with this little information, it is impossible to say.


Regarding goldenseal and pregnancy, you should not use goldenseal if you are pregnant. It can cause uterine contractions which may bring on labor and lead to miscarriage if you are before term.


So, for echinacea, goldenseal and pregnacy, you should not use these preparations. If, in consultation with your health professional, you decide to use echinacea, the above study may be useful in helping you decide the risks and benefits. But goldenseal is definitely not recommended.


One thing I found interesting was from this site, which discussed how hormonal changes can cause a runny or stuffy nose during pregnancy. This usually happens within the 4th to 6th months. And as this is caused by hormonal changes, taking anything that has an antiobiotic effect won't do anything for it.


So hopefully that answered your questions on echinacea, goldenseal and pregnancy!




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